First woodworking project

It seems that a lot of our house has custom measurements that make purchasing simple things difficult. We have been working on the powder room since November, and we have run into many issues. One included a closet in the powder room with a custom sized bi-fold door that was badly damaged. A replacement door would have been at least $100.

So we looked at wire shelving options. Also close to $100.

Then I decided to build the shelves myself. The pine boards were only $40.

But of course, with any DIY project, prices start to add up. Well, I had to buy the supporting boards. The sandpaper (first 220 grit, then 400 grit). Pine wood needs a special conditioner before staining? Better buy that. Oh, and the stain too. There's a post-stain coat? Brushes for the stain, rags for the stain. All in all, it probably came close to $100 anyway, and definitely took more time. But, I can say I made them.

In case you are interested in woodworking specifics, here they are below:
- 1 x 4" pine boards were cut to 17 3/4" lengths.
- 1 x 1" pine was cut to 13" lengths.
- Boards were sanded with 80, then 120, then 200 grit before conditioning
- Boards were conditioned with Miniwax pre-stain wood conditioner for 15 minutes before staining
- Boards were stained with Miniwax Red Mahogany Oil-Based Wood Finish
- 2 coats were applied
- End grain was sealed with 1 coat Miniwax wipe-on poly (satin finish) before staining
- Wood was sanded with 200 grit before wipe-on poly was applied to faces of board
- 4 coats of wipe-on poly was used to achieve the finish shown. 400 grit sandpaper was used between coats. "Sanding" with a paper bag was used after the last coat
- 4 1 x 4" boards made up each shelf. They were spaced with 1/4" tile spacers.
- The 1 x 1" boards went under the shelf for support. 2 were used per shelf. These were attached 2 3/4" from each edge. Two 1" brads (attached with a brad nailer) were used per board on the shelf. I joined from the 1 x 1" pieces so the brads would not show on the top of the shelf.

All in all, I cannot say if I like woodworking yet. There is a HUGE learning curve, and so much of this project was nail-biting. However, I have this pin that may be the next project. It seems to not be much more difficult than the shelves; it will just require cutting at an angle.


Chicken Apple Sausage

Last year, when we bought our house, I was sure that I'd be doing EVERYTHING and buying as little as possible. What's the point of having a house if the entire thing isn't DIY-ed? My Pinterest board become a homesteading paradise, and I bought quite a few things that I was sure I'd immediately use.

And then, reality set in. I was working full-time, and I was in the last stages of my master's degree. Our house, which was a foreclosure, was (and still is) requiring a lot more of the "unseen" fixes--things that are crucial to the house, but things that are not fun to show off to friends and family when they visit (seriously, who cares that we now have 2 working sump pumps in our basement? People want to see fresh coats of paint, new furniture, etc.).

However, this April I presented my master's research and completed said degree. While there are still issues with the house that are preventing us from beautifying the house, we are able to slowly interject these with the boring projects.

One of those early purchases was sausage casing. Now, after at least a full year, I was able to carve out some time to justify something as silly as making sausage from scratch.

I followed this recipe, except that I use my fancy Kitchen Aid meat grinding attachment (another early purchase that has yet to be used) instead of a food processor. Although I have no plans to eat these today, I am just grateful for the opportunity to make them.


Baby socks

It seems like I found a use for some of the leftover gray yarn I had from the baby blanket I made--baby socks!

These socks were super easy to knit, and they are so stinkin' cute! I used a pattern I found on Ravelry called Jimmy's Baby Gift Sweater Set by Diane Soucy. There is a matching cardigan, and seeing as I still have yarn left over, I may make that too. However, at this point, I am excited to cast on a pair of socks--for me! More soon.


Cartoon Apron

Between my friends and family, I have an endless supply of possible video game and cartoon projects to make. For my sister's birthday, I looked at her Pinterest board and saw that she had pinned this Apron that represents Link in the Windwaker Zelda series. The link takes you to an Etsy seller page, and Darkballoons has a TON of awesome aprons, that are honestly reasonably priced for the work that goes into them. However, since I can sew, I figured I would spend the time making one instead. I purchased 2 yards of green cotton, 1/4 yard brown cotton, green thread (which I didn't need as I already had it in my stash) and yellow felt. I ended up spending under $9 at Joann, but this project took me around 5 hours.

I probably could have made the apron shorter, and I guessed about the back since there were no pictures, but overall, it's pretty awesome.


Baby blanket

My inclusion partner from last year will be working with me again this year. At least for part of the year as she will be out on maternity leave. I feel like I've gotten to the point in both crafting skills and time management (read: I need to take more time doing things that I enjoy and appreciate so I burn out from school less) that I could take on a small project...over summer vacation.

I saw the idea on Pinterest and have had it pinned for whatever purpose. While the original blog post is not in English, you can see the construction is double crochet rows with chained strands of color woven in. I supposed you could Google translate the website if you wanted specifics. I changed the order of the color stripes for each round and spaced out the stripes more so gray is the predominant color.

My inclusion partner told me she was having a boy, but she does not seem the type to do an entire nursery in pastel blue, so I thought that this color combination still pointed to a boy, but wasn't too babyish.

This is the first project I have done with yarn in a very long time, and I am pleased with how it turned out. I hope the recipient (both Mom and baby) feel the same way!


Futurama Quilt--Finished

Sorry for the delay in posting; I have gotten super sick TWICE since the new year. I actually had to take a sick day, and that was the first sick day I've taken in four years since I got the job.

However, I have health and time to post, so I thought I would skip right to pictures of the finished quilt.

There are some minor errors, but overall, I'm pleased with how the second one turned out. Since I had a good chunk left of the red fabric (and am trying to prevent a fabric stash accumulation in the apartment), I decided to make a drawstring bag for the quilt. I serged 99% of the bag together. For the top part of the bag, I used a flatlock stitch with my serger--this is the first special stitch. I practiced several times on scrap fabric--I was really nervous.


Custom Closet Organization

I got fed up with my closet situation. This is typically what my closet looks like at the end of every week or two weeks.

I did try in December to fix the problem. I swapped out what I was using for T-shirts, pajama pants, and workout gear (an underbed box) for what I was using for my shoes (this carousel thing) because neither situation was working well. I used cardboard from Christmas orders to make dividers in the underbed box. I rolled up shirts to place in the shoe cubbies.

This fixed one problem, but created a new problem. To allow the shoe organizer with my shirts to extend all three tiers, I had to turn the plastic drawer organizer that I hold underwear and socks in sideways. I was good for....two days. And I got tired of shoving everything back in. Since I turned it 90 degrees to fit, every time I opened the drawer, the contents would  come out the side. Combine this with the fact I get dressed at about 5:30 in the dark every morning...I got super frustrated.

Since I have been making more things lately, I decided to make my own set of drawers. I used cardboard, a box cutter, duct tape and masking tape, glue dots, and scrapbook paper.

I made a huge mess while doing it...

...but I am really happy with the overall result.

I now have space to put things in, I have space to allow my carousel thingy to fully extend, it looks pretty, and the items don't come out of the drawer sideways! Quadruple win!

What organizing task have you taken upon yourself lately?